The Way I See It is Raphael Saadiq’s third album. He definitely goes old school on this album. His sound is reminiscent of a Motown album, even right down to the length of the songs and the live use of instruments. For those who don’t know, he used to be a part of the ’80’s group Tony! Toni! Toné! As a musician, singer and songwriter, he has always added an old school feel to his albums. That’s not my favorite genre but I think that he did a good job staying true to his originality.
His creativity helps to make this CD is a work of art. Raphael masterfully puts together the album as though he was in the ’60s. Some of his inspirations and comparisons of music were Sam Cooke, Smokey Robinson, Diana Ross, and the Temptations.
From the upbeat opening track, “Sure Hope You Mean It” to the last track “Oh Girl,” Raphael Saadiq upholds his ’60’s theme while delivering strong lyrics through his ballads. Some of his songs such as “Keep Marchin’,” “Callin,” and “Sometimes” convey messages about how we should keep going no matter what happens to us in life or how people treat us in our daily lives and love relationships.
An excellent twist on his ballad “Calling” was the use of a Spanish guitar and Spanish vocals- he was begging a girl that he was involved with to pick up the phone because he was calling. The song “Big easy” talks about Katrina’s effect on New Orleans and in the song he uses a story of searching for his girl who went missing as an ode of the way many people were feeling.
Raphael only had a couple of guest appearances on his album including Stevie Wonder, The Infamous Young Spodie and the Rebirth Brass Band, Joss Stone, Stevie Wonder and CJ, and Jay Z. Raphael used this album to showcase his talent and diversity. His hard work shows through the songs that he chose to put on this album.
You can tell that he was comfortable with producing this work and he had fun doing it. The last album that he came out with was Instant Vintage in 2002. Even then his true fans followed his music and fell in love with every track.
Even though this album only has 13 tracks, every track has substance to it and everyone can take some kind of lesson from it. Even though I’m not an avid fan of Raphael Saadiq I didn’t find the CD to be too bad I enjoyed it.